Last chance to complete farrowing crate ban survey

The primary purpose of the farrowing crate is to prevent the sow from rolling on and crushing her piglets
The primary purpose of the farrowing crate is to prevent the sow from rolling on and crushing her piglets

Pig producers are being reminded to complete a survey looking at the sector's views on any potential future farrowing crate ban.

The government has expressed desires to phase out the use of farrowing crates on pig farms despite farmer opposition.

The National Pig Association's survey, which closes tonight, aims to inform thinking on the appetite for alternative farrowing systems, as well as explore the challenges and costs involved.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies has stressed the importance of collecting as many responses as possible before the survey closes later this month.



Former Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers confirmed in January that she and fellow Defra Minister Zac Goldsmith want to see farrowing crates phased out.

This ambition is also clearly stated in the new Pig Welfare Code.



The primary purpose of the farrowing crate is to prevent the sow from rolling on and crushing her piglets.

The crate also enables stockpersons to work easily and safely around the sow and her piglets, during a time when sows can be particularly aggressive.

“This debate is clearly not going away,” said NPA chief executive Zoe Davies, “Whilst we are supportive of producers using and wishing to move to alternative systems, the NPA will fight any attempts to ban farrowing crates and force people to move to systems that impact the welfare of both piglets and staff, without financial support from the government or the supply chain.”

“To argue our case better, we need facts and figures to demonstrate the impact a ban would have – which is where we need your help.”

Ms Davies added: “A number of members have expressed concerns over a potential ban. However, we can only provide evidence of such concerns if we have a strong response to the survey.

“The campaign to ban farrowing crates is clearly going to be ramped up under this government, so, please, spend a few minutes to fill in the survey.”